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Powerless VR

VR - Virtual Reality, commonly used on computer-generated Imagery experienced in such a way as to block out visual and audio sensory input from 'reality', creating a virtual reality - an 'almost-but-not-quite' reality.

VR is by now quite an old term. It can be dated back to (at least) the seventies, but during the 80s and 90s it became more of a 'household' term, owing to movies such as 'The Lawnmower Man' and 'TRON'. The 'Matrix'-movies is just the last installment, even if they DO take the idea a bit further, implying that what we perceive as Reality is actually a virtual reality. But VR is not just limited to cinematic usage. In technology various kinds of games has been promulgated as, and has approached a VR, but not quite getting their simply because the equipment is not yet up to the job. Over the last ten years (at least) we have been treated to various inventions of head- or body-covering suits that would make us experience VR. All these gadgets has been promised to become as common as TVs, but they have not. Yet.

Even so, the world is waiting for it, and if some clever company with money and PR-genious manages to create a sellable package, they WILL score a bundle. Eventually even from, perhaps primarily, from larpers.

You see, what larpers have been trying to do over the last couple of decades is actually to make a VR that works. Seeing as not many of us has enough money or technical skills to build gadgets to create the ultimate VR-experience that would satisfy (literally) ALL the human senses, we settled for second-best: VR without gadgets and electricity - powerless VR! But this kind of VR can at least do what the powered VR can not: It can satisfy each and everyone of our senses, giving us experiences of smell, touch, taste, sex and temperature. Also it satisfies our social sense, in as much as we interact with real people, not CGIs.

Humanity has throughout its history always sought excitement and adventure. In pre-industrial days, this was supplied by ignorance, by religion and by a demanding everyday life offering plenty of adventure. As our lives got safer and as we knew more and more about the world in general, and as we discarded religion (more or less), we sought these things elsewhere, and we found we had to make them ourselves. Sports was one way - consequently, the last few decades of the 1800s is the time of birth for modern sports. Another way was war, but even if this was a costly and bloody way of finding what we craved and thus one should have thought it would be discarded, it has not, and it still remains many people's favorite way of having excitement and adventure - unfortunately.

Along came computers, giving us the opportunity to have excitement and adventure galore, but without bloodshed (war) or sweat (sports). Many sat down immediatly and has been sitting since. Others played their computer-games and got bored. Some of these moved on to what is known as larp, others went to splattergun-games. And so live-action role-playing was born - out of a need for VR, but without electrical power. And all things considering, it has become what we wanted - a Virtual Reality in which we find what our real life can not provide.

Many parts of the world still suffer from ignorance, religion or social hardship. There are people on this earth that still thinks the world is a turtle-shell. Some people still think God made the world about 5000 years ago. People still suffer famine. Hardly any of these play larp-games - of any kind. Why? Probably because their lives already are filled with the things our lives lack. So larp is just a way for bored, well-educated, atheistic or semi-atheistic young hotheads from rich and peaceful conutries to act as primitives? Unfortunately the answer is yes.

We should accept that the basic impetus for larp is the need for a flight/vacation from the real world and one of the basic ingredients is boredom. Our lives are so safe and padded that in order to have experiences it would seem that a human being needs we play larp-games.